Charles Novia‘s reviews of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) have become a yearly tradition. Article originally published on www.charlesnoviadaily.com At 21:52 pm CAT, when IK Osakioduwa and Vimbai, hosts of the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, had signed off from the show and brought in P-Square, I was left scratching my head a bit as I walked out slowly out of the hall with some of the invited guests.
I was puzzled. There was something about this year’s AMVCA which lacked the punch the last two editions had. I couldn’t place my finger on it and it kept nagging me all night as I played the event over and over in my mind. You see, I have attended lots of high-profile events and the AMVCA is one I always look forward to attending, not just as a filmmaker but also as a reviewer and this year’s was no exception. And the chaps at MNET have told me a number of times that my annual reviews are read sometimes in post-event meetings and no matter how scathing the reviews might be in some areas, they good-naturedly take the corrections and plan to plug loopholes for the next edition. And so, I decided to understand more of the behind-the-scenes planning of the AMVCA this year. A day before the event, I silently sneaked into the hall at Eko Hotels and Suites, where I watched the professional crew rehearse both the presenters and the host and hostess, painstakingly. No one really noticed me in the hall and the attention to detail during the rehearsals was impressive. I only spent thirty minutes in the hall but I appreciated the efforts put in by the crew.
And so, the evening of the show came upon us all. And walking on the red carpet to the main hall, one had to appreciate the fashion sense on display. I can bet that the fashion and make-up industry must have made a few millions in Nigeria yesterday because of the AMVCA. Everyone looked quite glam in their own estimation! Everyone? So, it seemed to me, even though I can safely say that the fashion on display was a combination of the outstanding, the outlandish and the outrageous! Fashion wise, I think the irrepressible Denrele Edun flew over the cuckoo’s nest. I noticed earlier a masked lady walking the red carpet and thought to myself that someone was perhaps doing an artistic Peter Cech of Chelsea on the red carpet. Imagine my surprise when the ‘lady’ walked up to me and called my name in Denrele’s voice! It was Denrele, dressed as a lady, with butt pads and all!
‘Uncle Charles, that’s the idea!’ He laughed as I took a picture with him, telling him in the process that he was crazy! Did I say he was doing a Cech? Change that to Bruce Jenner, maybe! I can safely say though, that Seyi Shay could take appropriate dress lessons from Denrele though, when next she’s performing for the President or top dignitaries!
But I digress.
The show started at 6.30pm CAT with an opening performance by an African dance troupe. An interesting monologue by Osas Ighodaro, dressed somewhat like an African queen, asked the niggling African question ‘What if I am African?’. I don’t know how the Shakira-styled hip shaking which Osas and a couple of female dancers did while that question was being asked, had to do with being African but I kinda thought those hips onstage lied a bit during the wriggle. The opening performance was average, in my opinion. It seemed more like the kind of performance for a boring gala night for African Heads of states than for a top profile event like AMVCA.
That flat opening skit set the tone for the drone first half of the show. The show dragged a bit and looking at some faces seated in the hall, behind the heavily caked make-up of some people in the hall, one saw a bit of irritation during the first thirty minutes of the show.
IK and Vimbai tried to spike up the show those first few minutes. However, I had the feeling that Vimbai’s sing-song voice wasn’t helping the nerves in the hall. IK and Vimbai tried a couple of banter which the audience received with polite laughter. IK cracked a joke about make-up and how a white lady he shagged turned out to be Mercy Johnson the next morning! Now, that was…well..politically inappropriate…for lack of a better phrase. That joke was overboard and IK got away with it, perhaps. Anyway, I think IK and Vimbai found their presenting mojo later in the show though.
Nonso Diobi and Linda Ejiofor came onstage to present the first award of the night. Nonso seemed to like the sound of his voice as he went on a bit about how it was a tough category and how every nominee bla bla bla. Next time, keep it straight and simple, please!
Next duo of Presenters were Akin Lewis and Oge Okoye. Oge Okoye got quite some appreciative applause from the audience for her outfit. By the way, I think her character in ‘Hotel Majestic’ is one of my favourite characters in the serial and she interprets that role quite well.